For starters, ‘Kahaani 2’ has nothing to do with ‘Kahaani’. Either Bollywood has no comprehension of what the term “sequel” means, or they’ve decided that any movie featuring an actor will henceforth be called a sequel of the last movie done by said actor. By that logic, ‘Pink’ should have been called ‘Saat Hindustani 202’ because that’s how many movies Amitabh Bachchan has done — 202.
What they’ve done is cash in on the name ‘Kahaani’ made. They made one good movie and figured the name would be enough to pull crowds into theaters. How despicable!
Seriously though, here’s why ‘Kahaani 2’ is a terrible movie:
It broaches a very important topic and then completely diminishes it.
Child sexual abuse is NOT a joke. It is not something you use as a freaking plot twist! It is a very real, and truly horrifying reality for far too many kids out there — especially in India, where “family honor” has always taken precedence over a child’s safety and emotions.
It gives a voice to the criminal, and completely silences the victim.
There is no defensible reason why Jugal Hansraj’s character, who is a pedophile, has been given so many creepy dialogues that make one’s skin crawl. He delivers these dialogues with relish and no sign of remorse. It is NOT okay to let a man who is molesting a child gleefully prattle on about the terrible things he is doing to her.
It depicts the outward ruin of a victim of sexual abuse without delving into the emotional ruin.
The makers of the film had the time to make sure that Vidya Balan’s character looks plain and unattractive, but it looks like they couldn’t be bothered to really talk about, and allay, the fears and nightmares that haunt a victim of child sexual abuse.
It seems to suggest that only fellow-victims of child sexual abuse need to be on the lookout for, and protect, other victims.
In essence, ‘Kahaani 2’ absolves the rest of the world of any and all responsibility. It seems to say that only those who’ve been through the horrors of sexual abuse can spot, and in their own way fight or rectify, the damage, the injustice being done.
‘Kahaani 2’ sends out the horrifying message that it’s the kid’s fault.
The movie shows a 6 year-old jump off of a terrace because her abusers have convinced her that it’s all her fault. It’s like they put no thought into the emotional repercussions of a story this bleak. The sad thing is, the child’s “protector” is an arm’s length away when she jumps.
The movie seems to imply that going to the authorities is pointless, because no one will help. And that if you’re rich enough, you can get away with anything — even molesting a child!
‘Kahaani 2’ implies that the authorities and the system will do nothing to help victims of child abuse. The authorities take no action against the pedophile, or his mother, the enabler. If anything, the authorities seem more inclined towards killing Durga Rani Singh as part of a contract kill, or arrest her for having helped the child in question.
What a disheartening message that is to send out to a country where child sexual abuse is rampant. It’s like the makers of the film are trying to say that help will either not be available at all, or that even when it is, it’ll be ineffective at best.
Like every Bollywood movie, it reiterates the notion that women couldn’t possibly help themselves without the help of their knight in shining armor.
Even if, as in ‘Kahaani 2’, said knight is really an angry, ex-husband who made his ex-wife, Durga Rani Singh, feel he hated her. Hindi movies keep telling girls that they can’t manage things on their own. Whether it’s the blind fauji who trains Kajol in ‘Dushman’ or the clueless ex-husband in ‘Kahaani 2’ who is more interested in his ex-wife’s diary than he ever was in her. The fact that he’s a cop with a fabled “gut feeling” makes it even more ironic!
As denouements go, that of ‘Kahaani 2’ is infuriating, and predictable to the point of being insulting.
Not to mention, completely unsatisfying, because there is very little catharsis, and even less justice. There is no remorse on the part of the perpetrators. They continue to spew bile till their very last breath. The victims, on the other hand, live the horrors of their past every single day.
If the makers of ‘Kahaani 2’ had had an iota of sense, they would’ve taken the time to talk to Pinki Virani, a journalist/human rights activist who’s researched and written extensively on the subject of child sexual abuse in India. She lives in Bombay. It would hardly have taken too much effort.
Or, they could’ve had a few group discussions with some people who actually have a functioning brain! As it stands, ‘Kahaani 2’ lacks depth and empathy. It is a shallow, callous tale that diminishes, nay trivializes, a very serious issue!
If minds could be wiped clean, I would ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ this movie from my mind in a heartbeat.
‘Kahaani 2’ is a terrible, terrible movie. For shame!